Ten days from now I will pack up the apartment at which I have lived for the past 4.5 years. Currently I have a whopping 8 boxes packed, which means there’s a lot of work to be done between now and then. And what better way to start the festivities than baking a cake! That’s productive and a good use of time, right?
The only caramel cake I have ever had was from Kroger and was quite delicious. Since then I have been meaning to make a homemade version and was finally inspired when Beth told me that she had been dreaming about caramel cake – although that was right before we left for the winter break so I didn’t make it until now. While baking it I texted her saying I was going to make her day tomorrow, since I was going to be bringing it by the lab the next day. She said it tasted just like her Great Aunt Sally’s from when she was a kid! Winner.
Get your stretchy-fat pants on because just looking at this dessert may cause weight gain. It’s a dessert lasagna using chocolate graham crackers for the “noodles”, cream cheese-peanut butter-whipped cream filling, and chocolate as the sauce. Between the layers and on top there are also chopped Reese’s cups and peanuts. I did use reduced fat cream cheese and light cool whip to make myself feel slightly better when the inevitable face plant into a second serving occurred.
This incredible, decadent dessert is worthy of today’s event – Ohio State playing Clemson in the Orange bowl! Admittedly I am still a bit bitter about losing to Michigan State and therefore losing the shot at the National Championship Game. But that will never stop me from getting excited to watch some college football and indulging in the gloriousness that is this dessert.
One year ago: Skinny Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet
Two years ago: Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Hawaiian Pizza
One of my favorite bands, Paramore, is playing in Nashville tonight. Originally when I had planned on going out of town for Thanksgiving, I was going to stop and see that show on my way out. Unfortunately that is no longer my plan as I decided to stay put and save money. I did see them with No Doubt a couple years back and with Jimmy Eat World before that so it’s not too heart breaking – except that they are the headliners this time. You better believe I will be cooking dinner tonight while dancing around to their music, pretending I’m there. Not that that’s different from a normal day in my kitchen…
In other news, today is National Cake Day! With Thanksgiving nearly upon us I am throwing as much pumpkin at you as I possibly can, including these mini cakes. These individual cakes are made by cutting rounds from a thin sheet cake. The rounds are layered and frosted with a caramel cream cheese frosting and then topping with caramel sauce and candied pecans, resulting in eyegasms. Who wouldn’t want their own personal mini cake?
You can use the leftover cake scraps to make cake balls or if you’d prefer to avoid scraps, make these into cupcakes instead.
One year ago: Arugula Pesto Pasta
Have you ever made a roulade aka cake roll? This right here is my very first. I bought a cake roll pan a couple years ago with the intention of making one, but never got around to it until now. I figured it would be a great way to celebrate not only PB+Choc Saturday but National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month. The soft, thin chocolate cake gets wrapped around a fluffy peanut butter filling and then covered in a chocolate glaze. The glaze is really what sealed the deal because it made the roll look so pretty and perfect (and masked a couple minor cracks that occurred).
But I didn’t use just any old peanut butter, I used PB Crave’s Cookie Nookie cookie dough flavored peanut butter. Which meant I had to top it off with eggless peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough balls, obviously. So it’s chocolate, peanut butter, AND cookie dough all rolled up into one dessert! Hopefully I won’t be induced into a desert coma while watching Ohio State play Illinois today. After today there are only 2 games left before the Big Ten Championship game and then on the Bowl Games. Which means PB+Choc Saturdays are winding down. But rest assured that the desserts will show no slack, made evident by today’s recipe.
Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a huge giveaway in honor of not only Peanut Butter Lover’s Month but also my 3rd blogiversary! Giveaway ends Monday, click HERE for the post on which to enter.
One year ago: Tortellini with Guiltless Pumpkin Alfredo
Two years ago: Butternut Squash Lasagna
You would think that after sending off a 172 page document to my committee that all I’d have to do for the week leading up to my defense is study. But oh wait there’s the powerpoint presentation to prepare! Thankfully I give presentations on my research at least once a year so I have old slides to pull from, but it’s still yet another thing to do before I can take a moment to relax. Honestly there will be no relaxing until after 4pm on Monday, September 23rd.
Guest posting today is Becca from Becca Bakes. She wins pb-loving hearts with her chocolate peanut butter pretzel fudge, inspires others to be daring bakers with a tutorial on how to make a checkerboard cake, and gets creative by making pop tarts with a ravioli press. She even has her own line of cookie mixes! But the thing I enjoy most is her honesty. Recently she posted a recipe for a shoofly pie – not because it’s a recipe she thinks you should make, but in fact warns you not to make it unless you are a huge lover of molasses. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to post a recipe disappointment of my own.
One year ago: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Browned Butter Sauce
Two years ago: Tomato-Basil Eggs Alfredo in Bread Baskets
Hello! My name is Becca and I will be stepping in for today’s blog entry so Erin can maintain sanity and produce an awesome dissertation. You go girl! I’m going to honor your hard work with the only way I know how – cake.
I recently moved to New England from Florida where they have these weird things called “seasons”. No longer is the weather hot, kind of hot, or really freaking hot. Here in Boston you can actually smell the air changing from summer to fall. The weather is in transition and you find yourself taking on and off a light jacket all day because you can’t quite decide. I wanted this cake to reflect this period of the year and I think it does a very good job. The peach is an obvious homage to summertime where the juicy stone fruits can be found in everything from ice cream to pie. The cake itself is a subtle nod at fall with a strong flavor of cardamom, followed by compliments of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. These spices are often found in pumpkin pie, apple cider, and everything pretty much every fall food you’ve ever loved. This best-of-both-worlds cake is perfect for when you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to let go of summer or if you’re excited for fall.
Jennifer may not know it, but we go way back. When I first started reading food blogs (pre-The Spiffy Cookie), one of the first food blog recipes I made was from her blog, Bake or Break – chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake bars. After nearly 3 years of food blogging it’s a crying shame that I have not made them again. But with all her marvelous recipes, such as lemon blueberry cheesecake bars and chocolate chunk pecan cookies, it’s hard to keep up! However, I have made a few other of her recipes that involve the notorious PBC (peanut butter and chocolate).
In case you hadn’t noticed, Jennifer shares my appreciation for the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and within the first two months of my own food blogging adventures I posted about one of her pb+choc recipes – brownie peanut butter cups (go ahead and judge my picture, despite the glorious ooze of peanut butter). Also during last year’s football season I adapted another recipe or hers to make my Buckeye monkey bread muffins. It seems extremely appropriate that she is sharing a recipe for peanut butter fudge cake today – I totally approve!
Hello, dear readers of The Spiffy Cookie! I’m Jennifer from Bake or Break. While Erin is toiling away on the final days of her dissertation adventure, I’m here to talk about cake. That seems absolutely appropriate, right?
I thought so.
Plus, it’s peanut butter and chocolate. I think Erin will approve.
Peanut butter and chocolate are, for me, the ultimate flavor combination. Sure, I like and even adore other combos, but this one is near and dear.
The premise of this cake is pretty simple. Chocolate cake and chocolate icing surround a layer of peanut butter. As good as that sounds, the whole is actually much greater than the sum of its parts.
The cake and icing are very much reminiscent of a Texas Sheet Cake, with some stovetop cooking involved for both. The chocolate cake is moist and soft and just lovely. It has a nice, delicate chocolate flavor. That’s a good thing, because the icing is not even remotely subtle in the chocolate department.
The peanut butter filling couldn’t be simpler. It’s peanut butter. Seriously. Spread it on the cake while it’s still warm, and the peanut butter will make a lovely, tasty layer between the cake and the icing.
I love this kind of icing. It’s simple to make, so that’s always a plus. And, it’s so soft and gooey. It goes on the cake while it’s warm, and then it hardens and sets as it cools. It forms some kind of serious shield over the cake. Don’t be alarmed if the icing cracks and crinkles when you cut into it. That’s just the nature of this kind of icing. If it bothers you, that’s why some very smart person invented garnishes.
This cake certainly qualifies as a crowd-pleaser. First of all, it makes enough for a crowd. Secondly, it’s chocolate and peanut butter, so what’s not to like?
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Welcome to the reinstatement of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Saturdays for this year’s college football season! Technically today is International Bacon Day, but I did not realize this fact until after preparing the recipe for today. Otherwise it would’ve been a PB+Choc+BACON recipe. But I digress.
I am not sure what it more exciting, the prospect of watching college football all day every Saturday, or having an excuse to whip up baked goods involving the best food combination ever? Today I have the honor of being a bridesmaid in one of my best friends’ wedding and therefore will not be partaking in the day’s football festivities, but I will have an emergency stash of buckeye candies with me. It’s in Cleveland, OH after all, totally acceptable to bring a stash to the wedding.
To kick things off, I am sharing a layer cake with you today. Inside it is a malted marble cake, which gets frosted with a malted peanut butter frosting, with some crushed peanut butter malt balls in the middle layer, and topped with even more peanut butter malt balls! It that enough malt for you? My cake decorating skills still need some work, but hey you gotta make layer cakes to get better at them.
Oh and my Ohio State Buckeyes are pre-season ranked #2 in the AP poll. Kind of makes me nervous since we were ineligible for a bowl game last year, and therefore didn’t get a true feel for how good we were last year. Regardless I’m sure it’ll be an emotional season like always. After all we’re not crazy, we’re nuts! Hah ha, I crack myself up.
It’s time for me to give you a dessert for Single Serving Sunday, because in all honestly leftover desserts are my downfall. Leftover entrees are dispersed throughout the week as lunches or dinner on subsequent days (even though I may get bored of it sometimes), but desserts either have to be passed out at work or frozen. There are so many more servings in a batch of cookies than a pizza! So single singer desserts are really what I should focus on more.
Jar desserts are pretty popular in the summer-time, especially for bringing to picnics because they are easy to transport and hand out as individual portions. However, most recipes make multiple single servings. But this s’mores jar cake recipe only requires one 16 oz jar. Granted you probably could say it serves 2, but do you really think you will want to share this with anyone? Let’s be honest with ourselves.
Jar cakes are also great when you want to ship a treat for someone’s birthday, which is exactly what I did. To make it prettier, I topped the jar lid with a cupcake liner – something I probably saw on Pinterest once. I thought it was really cute.
I know you are all familiar with the ice cream push pops from when you were a kid (or from your own kids because thankfully they are still making them), but how about one filled with cake?? Treat pops have been literally popping up all over the internet and Wilton as usual is on board and making great tools for you to use.
Their mini whoopie pie pan makes the perfect sized cake round to fit into the tube of a treat pop, and then their treat pop decorating set comes with everything else you will need: tips 230 (for filling container), 2A, 32, 48 (for topping), eight 12 inch disposable decorating bags and instructions on making treat pops. And of course you cannot make a treat pop without the proper container, and Wilton even improved them by adding a feature where the cap turns treat pop into a stand-up container for easy decorating and serving. This specially designed hole in the cap also allows you to embellish the treat pop with the cap on.
Previous treat pops I have purchased from other brands did not have this fun feature on their caps, and it really made decorating the pops much easier – no pop stand required! Also, the caps snap tighter than my previous experiences, making me feel more comfortable transporting them. Also, the long tapered tip provided by in the treat pop decorating kit definitely made piping the filling into the long tube much easier. Wilton thinks of everything, don’t they?
Since I have recently been sucked into the NBA playoffs cheering for the Memphis Grizzlies, I decided to make Grizzlies inspired treat pops – Grizz-Pops! They consist of a layering of three blue velvet whoopie pies and a lemon cream cheese frosting. If you notice, I should’ve let the frosting sit in the fridge for a little while before topping because after piping it in my hands had warmed it up so that the swirls didn’t hold their shape. But they still taste great! Just top with some team-spirited star sprinkles and it’s time to “screw calm and grind on”! (That’s what my shirt says in the background on the picture).